Be’er Sheva flying high; Ashkelon, Netanya & Sderot prevail

HERZLIYA, ISRAEL — In a rematch of the 2016 IPLL Championship Game, Be’er Sheva held off a late Haifa rally to prevail 11-9 at Herzliya Sports Complex on Thursday. The match opened the Herzliya Lacrosse festival, which featured all eight IPLL teams in action.

Be’er Sheva 11, Haifa 9 – The defending champions went on a 6-1 run in the middle quarters to down 2016 finalist Haifa in a battle of undefeated teams. Six players scored for the Speed of the Negev, including Lane Kadish (three goals, one assist), Milos Vukasinovic (two goals, two assists) and Eric Fischer (two goals, one assist). Payton Fales (60:00, 11 saves, 9 GA) earned the win in goal. Dan Kravitt led Haifa (2-1) with five goals. Be’er Sheva (3-0) now sits alone atop the IPLL standings.

Barak Netanya 12, Kiryat Gat 9 – The “Bolts” gutted out their first win of the season with a second-half comeback. Netanya trailed 8-3 in the second half before going on a 9-1 run to wrap up the match. Dan Applebaum scored five goals while Drew Lazar added four. Graham Goldheim (60:00, 11 saves, 9 GA) earned the win in goal for Netanya (1-2). Spencer Rotenberg (three goals, one assist) led Kiryat Gat (0-3).

Sderot 11, Herzliya 10 – Sderot spoiled the home team’s evening, eeking out a victory in a see-saw affair. Sderot dominated the first half, holding 7-1 and 8-3 leads. However, Herzliya went on a seven-goal run, including four consecutive goals by Holden Grupp, to take a 10-8 advantage with 6:15 remaining in the game. Sderot answered back with three goals of their own — including the game-winner by Matthew Flapan with 41 seconds remaining. Max Kaufman (four goals, one assist) and Jacob Silberlicht (four goals) led Sderot (2-1) offensively, while Max Yavitt (60:00, 10 saves, 10 GA) earned the win in goal. Grupp (four goals, two assists) and Ben Wipper (three goals) led Herzliya (1-2).

Ashkelon 12, Ashdod 10 – Ashkelon scored the last four goals of the game to top Ashdod in a come-from-behind win to wrap up Thursday’s festival. Ashdod led 10-8 with 10:18 remaining before the Fighting Aleph’s rallied for the win. Bryan Rotarori led Ashkelon (2-1) with five goals, while Lucas Gradinger and Jarett Greben added two apiece. Ben Gleichenhaus (60:00, 8 saves, 10 GA) earned the win in goal. Jake Levine led Ashdod (1-2) with four goals.